Was it necessary? I can actually think of 3 other ways Jesus could avoid dying.
1. Couldn’t the Creator (God) just release Divine Pardon for His creation? Call it quits. Forgive. Amnesty.
2. Or how about suffering for my sins? I’ll try to cover what I’ve done by suffering for it?
3. Better yet, what if I try to pay for it by doing good – from giving to the poor to reading my Bible more?
The more I study the Passover story, the more I understand the big picture.
When the Israelites cried out to God for deliverance from the Egyptians, God raised up a deliverer in the person of Moses. Moses goes before Pharaoh to give Yahweh’s directive to “let His people go.”
Because of Pharaoh’s hard heart, God sends 10 plagues to judge the 10 gods of Egypt – from Heqet to Ra. All the 9 affected the Egyptians but not the Israelites. However, on the 10th plague (the death of the first born), Israel was not exempted.
They however were given a way out – that if they kill a lamb that is unblemished and perfect, sprinkle the blood on the doorposts of their houses, then the ‘destroyer’ (Ex.12:23) will passover their houses and spare the male firstborn children.
Whenever they would celebrate Passover from then on, the firstborn will look at the table and remember, “the only reason I’m alive is because that thing on the table isn’t.” It was either a dead son or a dead lamb.
Fast forward 1500 years, the Israelites were still celebrating the Passover.
On the night Jesus was betrayed, he took both the bread and the cup.
Everyone around the table were probably wondering, “the bread and the wine are here, but where’s the lamb?”
That night, the lamb was not on the table because The Lamb was at the table.
No wonder John the Baptist declared when he saw Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
He no longer covers sin. He takes away sin.
He alone could do it. The lamb had to be perfect, without defect.
Jesus because like one of us yet he was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
He alone could identify with us because He was fully human. But at the same breath, He alone could fulfill the requirement to appease God’s wrath toward sin because He was fully divine and without sin.
Did Jesus have to die?
A definite YES!